The firing of Nat Hentoff from the Village Voice felt like a criminal act when it happened last December. He was one of the most talented, principled, and unpredictable voices in liberalism. He was also accessible; you could look him up in any NYC phonebook.
This morning I was delighted to hear that this defender of civil liberties is now a Senior Fellow at the CATO institute. A great move for them, and for him.
Hentoff’s last two paragraphs at the Voice are a good example of what made him so great. A righteous anger, a cool prose style, and a dash of humor.
Around the country, a lot of reporters are being excessed, and print newspapers may soon become collectors’ items. But over the years, my advice to new and aspiring reporters is to remember what Tom Wicker, a first-class professional spelunker, then at The New York Times, said in a tribute to Izzy Stone: “He never lost his sense of rage.”
Neither have I. See you somewhere else. Finally, I’m grateful for the comments on the phone and the Web. It’s like hearing my obituaries while I’m still here.